Tuesday, July 31, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Marvin Menzies has coached a lot of excellent big men in his career, but he’s never had one quite like Class of 2019 prospect Charles Coleman.
At 7-feet tall, Coleman provides a menacing presence on the defensive end, but on offense his best attribute is a soft 3-point shot. That’s not a skill Menzies typically covets in his frontcourt recruits, but the Rebels must see something they like, as they've already offered Coleman a scholarship.
UNLV assistant Eric Brown was on hand to watch Coleman play on Friday at the Las Vegas Fab 48, and though Coleman’s Wrightway Skills team was defeated by Chauncey Billups Elite, 49-34, that intriguing 3-point stroke was on display. Coleman knocked down 3-of-6 from deep and finished with a team-high 11 points; Six of his eight field-goal attempts were 3-pointers.
After the game, Coleman said his outside shot is something he practices on a daily basis.
“I’ve always been a good shooter,” he said. “I put up a lot of shots every day. I like Joel Embiid, how he plays that inside-out game. I like that.”
Coleman is a consensus 3-star prospect, with 247Sports rating him as the No. 284 player in the Class of 2019 and the No. 43 center. The Boston native plays for the Dexter School (Brookline, Mass.), and he has offers from Oklahoma, UMass and UNR in addition to UNLV.
Coleman said a strong showing on the AAU circuit this summer has helped generate more interest on the recruiting trail.
“I’m in the best condition I’ve been in,” Coleman said. “I’m showing my overall skill set, ball-handling and shooting and just playing hard.”
Despite his perimeter-oriented offensive game, Coleman doesn’t eschew his interior responsibilities. On Friday, he collected nine rebounds, blocked four shots and altered several more in his 30 minutes. So while UNLV big men attempted just 13 3-pointers all of last year, Coleman’s ability to defend the paint and protect the rim should make him a top target.
Coleman said his primary contact with the UNLV staff is assistant Andre LaFleur, and he has also spoken to Menzies several times. He hasn’t been to the UNLV campus yet, but he plans to take an official visit at some point in the fall.
The young big man was a fan of the way the Rebels deployed Brandon McCoy last year. McCoy led the team in scoring (16.9 points per game) and took home Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors.
“I watched [UNLV] a lot on TV,” Coleman said. “I liked Brandon McCoy, his skill set and the way the coaches put him in position to use his skills.”
Coleman’s skill set is a bit more unorthodox than a traditional center such as McCoy, but UNLV could end up being a perfect fit, anyway.